While I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Italy, it was the first time in a long time that I felt really ready to return home while being overseas. My biggest lessons learned in Italy and biggest recommendations for any future visitors revolve are as follows:
1. Don’t go to Italy in the summer. Just don’t. Wait until the weather cools and kids return to school. The fact that most of the touristy sites like the coloseum were packed full of people didn’t bother me as much as the heat did. I mentioned it in my very first post that the sun seemed to shine more brightly in Italy and after 10 days out there, I stand by that statement. It was so hot, I never saw a cloud in the sky, and I never saw a tourist that wasn’t sweating.
2. Be okay with uncertainty. Uncertainty will hit you in italy in a lot of ways. Not only will Italian people not seem to want to commit to anything, but even things with set schedules like trains will be subject to change. Your ability to keep up with the Italians will also be limited by the limited technological connections that will be available to you. If you think you’ll just be able to use wi-fi everywhere you go out there, think again.
3. Be in shape. This is a hypocritical piece of advice seeing as I am not in shape, and have not been in shape since starting grad school, but Italy will put your body through the ringer. Few to none elevators, the steepest hills in the world, and a very spread out metro system all mean that your legs will take you far, wide, and high. Don’t be the girl (or guy) with quivering calfs like I was, hit the stairmaster for a few months before visiting Italy.
4. Eat it all. Pretty self explanatory, but don’t let anything stop you from eating everything you want to try. after all, you’ll walk off or sweat off those calories no problem, and you don’t want to have any regrets.